Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Controlling the spread of covid-19

Exit strategy to control covid-19 and relaunch the economy

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 11 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1851
  1. Cam Bowie, retired director of public health Somerset and professor of community health Malawi1,
  2. Tony Hill, independent public health consultant and health strategist and retired director of public health Lincolnshire2
  1. 1Axminster EX13 5BL, UK
  2. 2Barnard Castle, UK
  1. cam.bowie1{at}

In a fast expanding epidemic, after the surge is contained by physical distancing, the public health option of choice is to control the contact of new cases.1 This has worked in the past and with covid-19 in parts of Asia and in New Zealand with physical distancing234 and in other Asian countries without physical distancing or recourse to lockdown.567 Elimination, not suppression, is the goal. Public health staff …

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